New Hawaii coffee labeling law takes effect today


Hawaii-branded coffee products sold locally to consumers will be subject to new labeling requirements today under a state law enacted last year.

The state Department of Agriculture wants to remind coffee producers about the law about to take effect, and encourages consumers to report possible violations.


Under Act 211 enacted in July 2023 after the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 746, a variety of coffee products carrying a Hawaii geographical reference must disclose on a front label where the coffee was grown in the state and indicate the percentage by weight of locally grown coffee and coffee grown elsewhere.

The law also specifies that coffee products claiming to be 100% Hawaiian on package labeling and advertising be grown and processed in Hawaii.

Products subject to the origin and percentage by weight requirements include coffee beans, roasted coffee, instant coffee in bulk or single-serve sizes as well as ready-to-drink coffee beverages.

Sharon Hurd, director of the Department of Agriculture, noted in a statement that the law did not provide for additional inspectors, “so enforcement of the new law will be a challenge given the other statutory responsibilities of the (Measurement Standards) branch.”

However, Hurd said the agency will increase inspection of retail shelves statewide, and that complaint- driven enforcement may have to be relied upon for the immediate future.

Report possible mislabeling or noncompliance by emailing the agency’s Measurement Standards Branch at or by calling 808-832-0690.

Another Hawaii coffee labeling law is expected to be enacted this year, though implementation won’t happen for another three years.

Under House Bill 2298, which the Legislature passed May 1, roasted, instant and ready-to-drink coffee as of July 1, 2027, will have to contain at least 51% of coffee grown in a region of Hawaii if the product package uses the name of the region — such as Kona, Kau, Waialua, Molokai, Maui and Kauai — in a blend with foreign coffee.

Under current state law, only a minimum of 10% Hawaii coffee must be in packages of blended coffee using Hawaii geographic origin names.

Gov. Josh Green has not signed HB 2298 but does not intend to veto it either. The governor has until July 10 to enact bills with his signature or let them become law without his signature.

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